This article has been submitted by Hireserve
Few industries have failed to feel the effects of the skills shortage.
But employers themselves may be key in addressing the gap: helping to not only develop necessary soft skills in school leavers, but also open students’ eyes to opportunities, industries and technologies that will be available to them when entering the jobs market. How?
Building links with schools
With careers advice services stretched and many schools now unable to provide or fund the traditional two weeks of work experience, it’s vital for employers to start thinking of ways to connect with schools in their community.
From offering a careers talk to running an employability or interview workshop, there are many ways employers can get involved and help prepare school leavers for the world of work.
Why not consider opening up your office to school pupils, giving them the opportunity to speak to team members and learn more about a career in your sector. Speaking to a variety of employees (for example apprentices, graduates and those who didn’t go into further education), students can learn about a diverse range of career paths and doors into your industry.
By opening up students’ eyes to job roles they may previously not have considered, and connecting students to potential work experience and career opportunities, these chances to interact with and learn from local businesses can be invaluable to both the jobs market and school leavers themselves.
Sharing positive experiences
If you’ve had a great experience supporting young people in experiencing the world of work, why not encourage other businesses to do the same?
There are still preconceptions about opportunities such as apprenticeships and work experience that you may be able to help change. Become part of the dialogue about the positive impact of these schemes; demonstrate that they make business sense in addition to offering school leavers and other young people great opportunities.
How can you get involved?
With tighter careers resources in schools, it’s up to you as an employer to set the wheels in motion and reach out to education providers in your community to see how you can get involved. You could also approach a local education charity which will act as a bridge between your organisation and local schools.
We’re not going to change the skills landscape overnight.
But if employers forge greater connections with local education providers, we can open young people’s eyes to opportunities they might not find out about in school.
And we can be part of a conversation which positively promotes apprenticeships, internships and vocational training to our fellow business leaders.